Favourites roll to Week 9 wins

TREVOR BUNKE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:17 AM ET

In the maddening world of the NFL, I'll start from the back and work to the front.

Last week, all 14 favourites won outright (One disclaimer: When NFL Picks was written last week, the visiting Detroit Lions were 1.5-point favourites in Minnesota. By game time, the Vikings were 1.5-point favourites) and were an outstanding 10-3-1 against the spread (ATS).

That also meant home teams' dominance crash landed, as the nine road favourites all won ... and were 7-1-1 ATS.

So what does it mean for Week 10? How about only three road favourites.

On to the Week 10 picks:

Kansas City (+2.5) at Buffalo: The 3-5 Bills are favoured over the 5-3 Chiefs because of their 3-1 home record. But after coach Dick Vermeil's gutsy (mentally deranged?) call last week to beat the Raiders, I'll ride that bandwagon for a while. CHIEFS

Washington (-1) at Tampa Bay: Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden says he's sticking with Chris Simms at QB. And I say I'll keep sticking with the Bucs' opponent as long as Simms starts. REDSKINS

New England (-3) at Miami: The Patriots are now more miserable than mystical. The one trend, however, that hasn't changed is the fact they have won one, then lost one the entire season. This is win week. PATRIOTS

San Francisco (+13) at Chicago: In the Bears' five wins this season, their four opponents (they've beaten Detroit twice) have a record of 10-23. If they win their four remaining games vs. sub-.500 teams -- including this Sunday's match against the 49ers -- they'll be guaranteed no worse than a 9-7 record and thus probably win the NFC North. As for the 49ers game? San Fran has lost its three road games by an average score of 42-11. BEARS

Minnesota (+9.5) at NY Giants: No matter how good or how bad the Giants are, they always, always beat the Vikings, who are bad. GIANTS

Arizona (+4) at Detroit: When your Fox affiliate comes from Detroit, you probably watch more of the Lions than you ever cared to. And I watched some of that game last week vs. the Vikings and it was nothing short of grim. While I'm thankful we don't get any stations from Phoenix -- because the Cardinals are just as hideous as the Lions -- a four-point spot when two bad teams play is too high. CARDINALS

Baltimore (+6.5) at Jacksonville: Silly me, I thought the Ravens were going to put up a fight last week -- at home no less -- against the Bengals. The Jaguars struggled mightily before they put away the Texans last week, but wound up winning by a touchdown. The 1-7 Texans might actually be better than the 2-6 Ravens. JAGUARS

Houston (+17) at Indianapolis: If the Colts can win by 19 points at New England, they can easily beat the Texans by more than 17 at home. Be warned: The past two times the spread was 17-points plus, the favourites didn't cover. In 2002, the 21-point favourite Eagles beat the Texans 35-17. In 2001, the 19-point favourite Raiders beat the Cowboys 28-21. If my memory serves me correctly, I got those two games wrong. COLTS

NY Jets (+9) at Carolina: Suppose Jets fourth-string QB Brooks Bollinger goes down this week, does it mean New York will sign Joe Namath? All goofiness aside, the Panthers are looking more and more like a Super Bowl contender ... and they're facing a Jets team that has seen all its engines blow up. PANTHERS

Denver (-3) at Oakland: I keep waiting for Broncos QB Jake Plummer to implode. Maybe it's not going to happen this season. BRONCOS

St. Louis (+6.5) at Seattle: With two weeks off to get healthy, the Rams will have starting QB Marc Bulger and WR Terry Holt back in the lineup. Of course, neither of those two can help slow down Seahawks RB Shaun Alexander, but they should help temper the onslaught. RAMS

Green Bay (+9) at Atlanta: Despite their putrid 1-7 record, the Packers have only lost by more than 10 points once. And four of their losses were by a field goal or less. Do they have a chance of winning in Atlanta? No. Can they hang tough? Yes. PACKERS

Cleveland (+7.5) at Pittsburgh: Like I wrote last week, when the Steelers faced the Packers, it's a good week for starting Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger to be off. STEELERS

Dallas (+3) at Philadelphia: With their season hanging in the balance and the Terrell Owens fiasco put to rest, the Eagles know what they're up against and what they're working with. EAGLES

Byes: Cincinnati, New Orleans, San Diego, Tennessee.

Last Week: 8-5-1.

Season: 63-63-4.

Best Bet: Denver.

Best Bets: 3-6 after 4.5-point favourite Kansas City only beat Oakland 27-23.

Suicide Pick: Carolina.

Suicide Picks: 9-0 after Jacksonville beat Houston 21-14.


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